Healthy Milano cookies recipe, vegan and gluten-free, using oat flour and rich chocolate ganache filling. High in fiber and protein. Follow my step by step video below.
Healthy Milano Cookies Recipe
This copycat Milano cookies recipe makes a much healthier cookie, and I think they taste better than the commercial Milano cookie put out by the company, Pepperidge Farm.
In fact, this recipe tastes closer to the commercial recipe than other copycat recipes probably because oat flour tastes so vanilla-y. And the oat flour allows the texture of the cookie to be snappy, just like a true Milano.
What Are Milano Cookies?
I probably don't have to describe them to you but I will. Milano cookies are thin, snappy, oval sandwich cookies filled with a chocolate fudge. I made a copycat version of their original flavor here, but their manufacturer also produces the cookie in many flavors including double chocolate, orange chocolate and mint. Of course my recipe can be adapted to create those flavors as well.
I grew up with Milano cookies as my go-to commercial cookie. I could eat a whole familiar white bag in seconds lol, and we loved to include them as long-car-ride snacks. However, they are full of preservatives and additives and certainly not vegan.
So I decided to create the cookie so it is vegan, but also gluten-free.
How to Make Healthier Milano Cookies
This path starts and ends with healthier ingredients. So what might those ingredients be? You might think a cookie like this needs eggs for structure and certainly needs all purpose flour or a commercial gluten-free baking mix.
This cookies come out perfectly using aquafaba instead of eggs, and oat flour instead of all purpose or a gluten-free flour mix.
That made me happy because I have one daughter who can't eat gluten, and another who can't eat gluten-free flour mixes because of all the ingredients such as rice flour and tapioca. The one flour they agree on is oat flour. So I have been trying hard to use it more in my recipes these days.
Also don't let the aquafaba scare you. It's the liquid from a can of unsalted chickpeas. But if you don't have a can, you can use unsweetened applesauce instead of aquafaba. Just be prepared for the cookie to be a bit sweeter.
Ingredients to Make Healthy Milano Cookies
The ingredients are so few and familiar that you probably have them all in your pantry. All except maybe oat flour, but if you have rolled oats just grind them into a powder in a blender. Here is the full list:
1. Oat flour. I have been using oat flour in everything lately instead of all purpose for my gluten-free baby. I don't like to use GF mixes because my other daughter - as I mentioned - is allergic to the variety of things you find in GF flour. So oat flour is perfect for them both. Plus I love that oat flour is easy now to find in grocery stores or online, and it is very inexpensive, at least a third of the price of say, almond flour. If you don't have access to oat flour however and want to make these milanos today, just use all purpose flour. You'll need to use a bit less.
2. Butter. Of course I mean vegan butter to make these cookies vegan. I used Earthbalance sticks. Real butter will work for my non-vegan friends. Soften the stick before blending to be sure if mixes in well.
3. Powdered sugar. I mean powdered sugar here, not sugar that you grind up as you'll find I call for in my Fluffy Vanilla Cake Recipe. I use vegan brands that don't have bonechar.
4. Aquafaba. The liquid from an unsalted chickpea can or box. Wholefood's has begun selling boxes so that's what I am referring to when I say box. Be sure your aquafaba is at room temperature. Open the box, drain the aquafaba into a jar and measuring out the amount you need for this recipe. Then refrigerate the jar for a week to use in other recipes. I also freeze my extra aquafaba in 2 tbsp amounts in ice cube trays because it really doesn't last in the refrigerator for longer than a week. You can use applesauce instead of aquafaba, just be sure to add a tablespoon or two of water to get the batter to the texture you see in my pictures and video. I have heard however that using applesauce can make the recipe a bit finicky.
5. Vanilla. Gosh this stuff is expensive. I wanted to add more because Milanos are so vanilla-y but it is expensive so I kept it to 1 tsp. But I do think the cookie deserves 2 tsp. Also if you can, buy the expensive brands. It really is amazing the difference in flavor. Also don't forget the pinch of salt.
Oh and for the filling I melted chocolate chips. I used Enjoylife semi-sweet chips, and added a tsp of oil to thin, but that's total optional.
That's it! Such a short list for such an amazing cookie.
What is the First Sandwich Cookie?
Well, it's not the Milano Sandwich Cookies.
It's a cookie that looks more like an Oreo cookie, according to Wikipedia. The first sandwich cookie was invented in 1882 by entrepreneur Jacob Loose who bought a company called Sunshine Biscuits and eventually in 1908 launched a sandwich cookie called "Hydrox". The name apparently was meant to imply that the cookie was healthy, made of only hydrogen and oxygen like water.
Kind of odd. Well, I wish I could share my healthier Milano cookie recipe with Mr. Loose. I think he would be impressed that I used only oat flour and aquafaba.
Q&A about Milano Cookies
Why are they called Milano cookies?
The originator of the commercial cookie, Pepperidge Farm created the name based on a marketing trend to name their cookies after cities in Italy. This cookie is actually a spin-off of their "Naples" cookie.
Are Milano cookies from Milan?
No, Milano Cookies are not from the city Milan in Italy? They are made by the American-based company in 1956. T
What is the original Milano cookie?
The original commercial Milano cookie was not a sandwich cookie, and had only a bottom wafer.[source]
What flavors are Milano cookies?
The commercial version has so many versions including:Milk Chocolate, Double Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Orange, Raspberry, Lemon, Dulce de Leche, Mocha, Salted Caramel, Banana, Key Lime, Candy Cane, and Pumpkin Spice.
Should we try these using my healthy, non-processed recipe?
Steps to Make Healthier Milano Cookies
The detailed recipe is below this post in a recipe card with the video, however here are the general steps.
1. Gather ingredients, oat flour, powdered sugar, aquafaba, butter and vanilla.
2. Mix them up. I simply hand-mixed them in a measuring cup.
3. Put the batter into a frosting bag with the tip cut off revealing a 1-inch opening. Refrigerate the batter in the bag for just 10 minutes.
4. Pipe the batter in 3-inch lines, separated by 2 inches. The cookies will spread. This recipe makes about 14 cookies if you use my template - 10 in the first batch, 4 in the second. So that makes 7 sandwich cookies, or milanos.
Here is the template I provide: Downloadable Milano Cookie Template. You print it out, and slip it under the parchment paper so you can see the lines through the paper. Pipe along the lines, then remove the template before you bake the cookies. You don't have to use the template if you have a steady hand, just pipe 3-inch long cookies.
5. Pro-tip: If you bake in two batches, leave unbaked batter in refrigerator before piping and baking to help contain spreading and keep the nice oval shape.
6. Bake the cookies at 350 F for 16-18 minutes or until edges are faintly brown.
7. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet.
8. Melt chocolate chips and a bit of coconut oil for 60 seconds in a microwave. Stir until all chips are melted. Spoon the melted chocolate down the center of the inside of a cookie and press another on top.
9. Let them set before jostling them much.
These cookies store well in a sealed container for a few days, and then refrigerate although they will lose their crispiness.
Other Vegan Cookies You Will Love
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Healthy Milano Cookies Recipe
- Gather ingredients for the cookie
- Print my template, line a quarter cookie sheet with parchment paper and slide my paper template beneath so the lines show through the parchment.
- Preheat the oven at 350 F.
- Add ingredients to a bowl and blend up until creamy.
- Spoon your batter into a frosting bag with the tip cut off. I cut the tip so the opening is about 1-inch and push it into a glass to make filling it easier. Chill the bag for just 10 minutes; leave the unbaked batter in the refrigerator while the first batch bakes.
- Pipe 3-inch cookies along the lines you see through the parchment paper.
- Slide the paper template out from beneath the parchment paper
- Pro-tip: Chill the dough 15 minutes in the refrigerator before baking. If you bake in two batches, leave unbaked batter in refrigerator just 10 minutes before piping and baking to help contain spreading and keep the nice oval shape.
- Bake 18 minutes or until edges are tinged with brown.
- Let the cookies cool in the pan. Transfer them to a cooling rack.
- When the cookies are cooled, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave for 60 seconds. Stir the chocolate until all chips are melted. Spread the chocolate on one side of a cookies, and press another on top.
- They will set fairly fast.
Store the Cookies
- Store them at room temperature in a sealed container for 2-3 days or refrigerate for a week. They can also probably be frozen fairly well.